Vampires are a species of creature populating the world. Typical vampires are known for draining their victims of blood, but psychic vampires will drain their victims of their energy.


Viago reflection

Viago demonstrates his lack of reflection.

Vampires typically have a very similar appearance to normal humans, with the only outward signs of vampirism being pale skin, though some, such as Afanas and Petyr, appear distorted and demonic. Vampires most commonly have two fangs in place of normal human canine teeth, though some have mouths filled entirely with sharp teeth. When angry, they may reveal their true form, which often resembles a bestial version of the their normal appearance with yellow irises and red sclera. They often hiss when agitated or threatened. Vampires do not have reflections, but will be visible in photographs and on film.

Vampires show no normal human vital signs, such as heartbeat or breathing and their skin is cold to the touch. Despite this, they still require sustenance and must drink human blood to both nourish themselves and help them retain a youthful body; if they go too long without drinking blood they will start to become decrepit in appearance. Vampires typically prefer to drink the blood of virgins, as it often has a more appealing taste, though some vampires seem not to distinguish and only drink virgin blood because they believe it is cool.[1] Drinking the blood of humans under the influence of alcohol or drugs may cause the vampire to also become intoxicated.[2]


Nick transforming

Nick transforming into a vampire.

A human becomes a vampire if they have their blood drained by a vampire and then in turn drink the blood of a vampire. The start of the process is signaled by a brief flash of yellow in the irises of the eyes. Humans who wish to become vampires may serve as familiars in order to eventually receive this.

The process of transforming into a vampire is extremely uncomfortable, beginning with flu-like symptoms which includes clammy skin, fever, chills, and heavy vomiting. They may also bleed from their eyes.[1] The transforming human's body eventually stops showing normal human vital signs and they become physically dead. They will begin exhibiting signs of vampirism, such as developing their fangs, paling of skin, distortion and fading of their reflections, and they will often begin involuntarily levitating. They begin to show an aversion to religious imagery and will begin to develop sensitivity to sunlight. This is accompanied by an increasing hunger for human blood, with the first consumption of human blood marking the end of the transformation.[3]


Common abilitiesEdit

  • Immortality
  • Agelessness
  • Levitation
  • Hypnosis (also known as 'glamor')
  • Transformation into bat or dog form
  • Teleportation
  • Telekinesis[1]
  • Regenerative healing factor

Unique abilitiesEdit

Vampires may have powers which are unique to themselves, the effects of which vary dramatically from case to case. Known unique abilities include:

  • Vladislav's ability to transform into a wider than normal variety of animals
  • Laszlo's ability to control and communicate with animals
  • Jenna's power of invisibility
  • Nandor's power of pyrokinesis
  • Nadja's abilities of climbing up walls and transforming into a pile of rats


Nandor entering Animal Control

Nandor, a vampire, is unable to enter any new building unless invited in.

Vampires are weak to a number of items and practices. Religious imagery will harm or frighten them; prolonged exposure will cause them to burn and bleed from the eyes, even references as small as crossed fingers can repel them, and their mouths will catch fire if they try to say religious phrases sincerely. They burn in sunlight, with even small amounts of exposure causing them to start smoking, but those who are half-vampire are immune to this.[4] Contact with salt, garlic, silver or holy water will also cause them to burn. A vampire can be instantly killed by a wooden stake through the heart.[1] They are incapable of eating solid foods and will projectile vomit forcefully if they consume even a small amount; this will be even worse if the food contains garlic.[2] Vampires are also physically incapable of entering new buildings unless someone invites them in.[1]

Vampires who experience traumatic events may have their powers weakened. For example, Vladislav, after becoming impaled by his then-girlfriend Pauline, lost the ability to transform his face when turning into animal forms, and his powers of hypnosis also decreased.[1] Vampire bats are actually vampires who have experienced an intense humiliation, such as hosting a bad orgy, and have permanently turned into bats, incapable of flying as high as vampires in their normal bat forms.[5]

Vampire societyEdit

Vampires are expected to follow vampire code, which forbids crimes such as killing other vampires or turning babies into vampires. The most significant governing body of vampires is the Vampiric Council, an international organization who put vampire criminals on trial and punish them if they are found guilty, sometimes by imprisonment or death.[4] For lesser crimes, vampires may carry out their own trials, which can lead to punishments such as the Procession of Shame.[1]

Vampires typically keep themselves secret from humans out of fear of being targeted by vampire hunters. They generally dislike werewolves, but this is often merely due to prejudice. The Staten Island Lycanthrope Werewolf Agreement of 1993 was a truce aimed at resolving conflict between vampires and werewolves.[6]

Vampires often gather in their own social events, such as the Unholy Masquerade in New Zealand[1] and the Bi-Annual Vampire Orgy.[5] They may spend nights in vampire night clubs, such as The Sassy Cat Club in Manhattan.[7] Although vampires are capable of using modern technology, they traditionally communicate over long distances by using ravens as messengers.[4] Vampires are known for inhabiting old and dark castles and things alike, however, many enjoy migrating to small countries and flatting with each other, such as the trio: Vladislav, Viago, Deacon and Petyr.

Vampires often give themselves or receive titles after their first names, such as Vladislav the Poker, Nandor the Relentless and Vasilika the Defiler.

Psychic vampiresEdit


Colin Robinson, an energy vampire, with Evie Russell, an emotional vampire.

Psychic vampires are the most common type of vampire. They have the ability to drain a victim of their energy, rather than blood, through conversation or certain acts. They are notably the only kind of vampire that can drain another vampire of their energy,[8] or gain energy from victims electronically via the internet.[9] They are able to exist in sunlight without issue, have reflections and live a more ordinary experience than traditional vampires, although their eyes may glow lilac-blue while feeding. They are not harmed by religious imagery or connotations.[3] They are also incapable of flight, but may hover during periods of intense power.[6] Psychic vampires are capable of shapeshifting into animals, as demonstrated by Colin Robinson’s ability to transform into a gecko, but this is rarely put into practice.[10]

Energy vampiresEdit

Energy vampires are the most common kind of vampire, they drain energy from their victims by boring or annoying them.

Emotional vampiresEdit

Emotional vampires are a very powerful form of psychic vampire, they gain energy from pity. They may do so by telling sad stories or pretending to faint to gain sympathy from other people.[6]

Other types of vampireEdit

Vampire witchesEdit

Although vampires often treat witches with suspicion, some vampires may also become witches themselves.[1]


Vampires who are half-human, half vampire (otherwise named Dhampir) who are resistant to sunlight.[4]

Chinese jumping vampiresEdit

Chinese jumping vampires (better known as Jiangshi) tend to hop around with arms outstretched rather than walk and prefer to wear Chinese traditional clothing.[5]

Known vampiresEdit



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Clement, Jemaine & Waititi, Taika (writers and directors) (19 January 2014). What We Do in the Shadows.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Morris, Iain (writer) & van Beek, Jackie (director) (May 1, 2019). "Baron's Night Out". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 6. FX.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Clement, Jemaine, Robinson, Stefani, Scharpling, Tom and Simms, Paul (writers) & Waititi, Taika (director) (May 29, 2019). "Ancestry". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 10. FX.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Clement, Jemaine (writer) & Waititi, Taika (director) (May 8, 2019). "The Trial". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 7. FX.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Sawyer, Marika (writer) & Woliner, Jason (director) (May 22, 2019). "The Orgy". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 9. FX.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Lieb, Josh (writer) & Clement, Jemaine (director) (April 10, 2019). "Werewolf Feud". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 4. FX.
  7. Scharpling, Tom (writer) & Clement, Jemaine (director) (April 17, 2019). "Manhattan Night Club". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 3. FX.
  8. Clement, Jemaine (writer) & Waititi, Taika (director) (March 27, 2019). "Pilot". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 1. FX.
  9. "A Shadows Short: Electronic Energy Drainage" - FX
  10. "A Shadows Short: Non-Bat Form" - FX
  11. "Behind the Lid - Vellington Sign" - Wellington Airport
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